* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received July 28, 1997
Amides of fatty acids are lipid bioregulators formed from long chain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids via amidation by the corresponding amines. Ethanolamides of fatty acids are the most well-studied species of this group; an alternative pathway for their biosynthesis includes hydrolysis of N-acylated phosphatidylethanolamines by phospholipase D. Ethanolamides of fatty acids bind to the cannabinoid receptors of the central nervous system (CB1) or peripheral tissues (CB2) and can be considered as endogenous ligands of these receptors. Their pharmacological properties are similar to that of cannabimimetics. Simple amides of fatty acids are also endogenous bioregulators acting like sleep-inducing (oleamide) or angiogenic factors (erucamide). A new group of bioregulators comprise the amides of fatty acids and biologically active amines (vanillinamine, dopamine, and serotonin).
KEY WORDS: anandamide, oleamide, erucamide, ethanolamides of fatty acids, amidohydrolase, cannabinoid receptor, N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine, serotonin, dopamine